The Importance of Professional Installation and Maintenance of Commercial Catering Equipment

Catering Equiptment

Catering Equipment can be an expensive investment; therefore, it is important to ensure that it is properly installed, and kept maintained through regular servicing and cleaning. Installations, repairs and servicing should be carried out by professionals with the correct accreditations and training, otherwise this could lead to costly and dangerous repercussions! Proper installation and maintenance will ensure that your equipment is kept working reliably and at optimum performance and reduces the risk of accidents and breakdowns.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that employers have to ensure the health and safety of their employees and others affected by their work. According to the HSE, “The absence of an effective maintenance regime for catering equipment or poor standards of maintenance are a significant cause of accidents in the catering industry.” These accidents can be very costly, in financial terms and pain and suffering.

Gas equipment

For all appliances, but especially those that run on gas, it is vital that they are serviced regularly. Regulation 35 of GSIUR requires employers to ensure gas appliances, flues, pipework and safety devices are kept safely maintained. To keep in line with current health and safety standards, this needs to be done by a professional gas engineer. As defined by the GSIUR, any installations, repairs or maintenance of gas appliances should be carried out by a competent, Gas Safe registered engineer.

As a requirement of the GSIUR the people working on gas equipment must have valid certificates of competence relevant to the particular type of gas equipment and gas work they are involved with. The frequency of inspections and servicing can vary depending on the equipment and its use but generally they should be inspected and serviced at least annually.

If not regularly serviced grease, fat and oil can build up on surfaces which can block pilots and burners, meaning food takes longer to cook and also greatly increases the risk of fires. If not installed properly or if regular servicing doesn’t take place appliances can leak gas through pipework and connections which can be incredibly dangerous and makes for an un-safe working space.

Also, when gas does not burn properly, excess carbon monoxide is produced, which is poisonous and can kill. If your appliance is not properly installed or regularly checked for safety and maintained regularly by a Gas Safe engineer, you can be putting your staff at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

DCE Engineers are Gas Safe, NICEIC and REFCOM accredited, which covers all of the gas, electrical and refrigerated appliances in school/commercial kitchens and domestic science/food technology rooms. This means we can install, service, repair and maintain all your commercial kitchen equipment, air conditioning units and educational machine tools equipment. All our services come with full reports which contain individual machine detail and certification which you can present as proof that you are abiding to health and safety regulations.

Ventilation

Properly functioning ventilation systems are important for ensuring kitchen safety. Cooking fumes contain oil mists, irritating substances, smoke and carbon dioxide from gas-fired equipment. Kitchen extractors are, therefore, an absolute must in any commercial kitchen. They clear smoke and grease from the air and improve the overall working quality in the kitchen. Their main function is to extract carbon monoxide/dioxide and other dangerous substances from the air, as well as odours, grease and fat particles, to maintain health and safety regulations. Many kitchens tend to have a canopy extraction system above the cooking surfaces, which extracts fumes whilst people cook.

Depending on how often the kitchens are used these systems can see a lot of action and can get easily clogged with grease and dust particles, which creates a fire hazard. The more they are used the more frequently they need to be cleaned. Annual cleaning is a must for all kitchen extract systems but if you use it frequently, they could need cleaning more regularly.

Ductwork cleans ensure your working environment is kept safe and clean, reducing the risk of fires and ensuring the food preparation areas are kept free from contamination. Regular cleaning also increases the efficiency of the system. TR19 Ductwork cleans are a legal requirement for legislation compliance. Without them you cannot insure your building or equipment. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), formerly HVCA, defined the TR19 standards 20 years ago and insurance companies only provide insurance to those who have a certificate of duct cleanliness.

The grease and dust buildup in a ductwork are hidden away, so it can quickly get out of hand. Your staff may be able to clean the visible areas of the ducts and extraction system but the ductworks need a much more intensive deep clean to ensure they are working properly and are kept in line with regulations. This needs to be done by trained experts who have the correct equipment to do it and also know how to clean it thoroughly. Many of the nooks and crannies of the system are hard to reach and untrained cleaning can do more harm than good.

DCE have a team of trained experts who can clean ductworks and adhere to the HVCA/BESA TR19 standards. Once we have performed your TR19 ductwork cleaning we can provide you with a full report and certificate as proof of cleanliness and adherence to guidelines which you can then present to your insurers. We come out to the site and inspect your ductworks, informing you of what needs cleaning, how long it will take and also how regularly you should have them cleaned in future.

Cleaning

It is important to keep your catering equipment clean to ensure they are working to their optimum performance and to reduce the risk of health and safety hazards or breakdowns. Sometimes to perform a thorough deep clean, service and maintenance of commercial catering equipment, some appliances such as ovens and stoves will need to be dissembled. To do this properly and ensure that everything is taken apart and put back together correctly, this needs to be done by a professional who is trained in servicing catering equipment.

DCE are expert accredited commercial catering engineers. Therefore, we can thoroughly and safely clean, service and maintain all your appliances to ensure they are always working like new and are safe for use. We can come and deep clean your appliances at a time that suits you, so as not to disturb your working days.

Improper maintenance can be costly

If your appliances are not properly installed, maintained or serviced this can be incredibly costly in many ways. You could incur the cost of having to purchase a new machine, the cost of not being able to run your business due to a breakdown of vital equipment, the cost of fire damage, and the possible cost you could have to pay in compensation if a staff member is put at risk and is hurt. If someone is hurt then this can also cause serious long-term suffering.

The HSE states “Good maintenance by competent staff ensures that equipment performs well and reliably, and helps to prevent accidents.” Save yourself money in the long run by arranging for proper installation of your equipment and regular servicing and maintenance. Annual servicing can help to ensure your staff, guests and pupils are kept safe, your equipment is always working at optimum performance and makes sure you are abiding to health and safety regulations.

Contact DCE to find out more about our Maintenance and Servicing and Installation services. We even offer multi-service discounts and special pricing for the public sector!